Jenson Button said he didn't know if he could have won the Chinese Grand Prix but said his slow final pit stop cost him the opportunity.
Having started fifth Button made a strong start up to third place and inherited second when Michael Schumacher retired after his own pit stop problem. However, when Button pitted from the lead for his final pit stop he suffered an issue with his left rear tire and was dropped back in to a large fight for second place behind Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Romain Grosjean.
As he struggled to find his way past all of the drivers ahead of him any hopes of using the new tires to chase down Rosberg disappeared and Button admitted the pit stop was a defining moment in the race.
"Yeah it did (cost me)," Button said. "Before that our race pace was good, especially on the harder of the two tires, I had some really good battles out there. And then at my last stop, I stopped on the marks and we had a problem with the rear of the car so I was stopped there for nine or ten seconds I think it was. It was a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars in front of me, cars that I wouldn't have been racing and I would have had a nice, clear track to hopefully hunt down Nico. It was a big gap but you're going to give it a go."
Despite the issue, Button still battled through to finish second and he said he had enjoyed the race.
"All in all a fun day, I really enjoyed today. It was a good race, some good overtaking out there and nice with that issue to come away with some good points in second place … I got a good start. I think all year so far we've had very good starts. Not the best start, but promising when you don't qualify so well. So a great job by the whole team for sorting a special start out for me and great to get up to P3.
"Lastly for me I'd like to congratulate Nico. We all know how special it is – you're first win – and I'm sure there will be many more, just hopefully not too many more this year."